Saturday, April 21, 2018
Travel

Overtourism and safety cited in Fodor’s where-not-to-go list

As you contemplate all those "where to go in 2018" lists, hereís a twist: a list of places to avoid in the new year.

The where not to go list is from Fodorís, the travel guidebook publisher. Fodorís "no list" includes places plagued by overtourism and destinations with safety issues. They range from a U.S. state to bucket-list wonders of the world. Here are the places Fodorís suggests we avoid.

The Galapagos: Ecuador heavily regulates tourism in the Galapagos as part of its environmental conservation policies, but Fodorís says the islandsí fragile ecosystems remain vulnerable.

The places that donít want you to visit: Too many tourists in places like Venice and Amsterdam have resulted in a local backlash against visitors. Fodorís says we should just stay away.

Taj Mahal: In 2018, the Taj Mahalís dome will get its first thorough cleaning since the monument was built 369 years ago. A mud paste has been used to clean other parts of the monument, and Fodorís says "unless your dream Taj Mahal visit involves being photographed standing in front of a mud-caked and be-scaffolded dome, maybe give it until 2019 at the earliest."

Phang Nga Park, Thailand: Fodorís says "the rush to paradise has overwhelmed" some of Thailandís beaches with pollution and overuse. Successful recovery initiatives are in progress, but Fodorís recommends taking "the road less littered and enjoy a tropical vacay away from the fray."

Myanmar: Just a few years ago Myanmar was on every globetrotterís list, having opened up to tourism after years of isolation. Now Myanmar is one of the worldís pariahs because of a violent campaign against the ethnic Rohingya minority. Fodorís noted that the United Nations labeled the atrocities "a textbook example of ethnic cleansing."

Mount Everest: Fodorís says the pursuit of bragging rights from a trip up Mount Everest just isnít worth the danger (six people died climbing there in 2017) and the cost ($25,000 to $45,000).

Missouri: Fodorís put Missouri on its no-go list because of an NAACP travel advisory for the state, citing reports that African-Americans were more likely than whites to be stopped by law enforcement officers there, as well as other incidents and policies that raise questions about various types of discrimination.

Honduras: The murder rate in Honduras has dropped in the last several years, but itís still among the deadliest places on earth. Fodorís says travelers should stay safe and spend their money elsewhere.

Great Wall and Beijing: Fodorís cites the deterioration of sections of the Great Wall of China and air pollution in Beijing as reasons to stay away.

Cuba: Americans are still permitted to visit Cuba, but new rules from the Trump administration are complicated and the mysterious illness reported among American embassy workers in Havana is worrisome. Fodorís urges caution.

     
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